Most healthcare providers have issues with duplicated health records. They cause excessive time and effort because a lot of information has to be entered twice. But the real problem is that duplicated records are not always the exact copies of each other. Instead, information about one patient is kept in several separate documents. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, duplicates have been leading to poor patient identification – hampering the response rate and patient outcomes. Another pitfall is associated with HIPAA compliance since duplicated records increase the chance of ePHI loss.
AHIMA has stated that 20% of the medical records in healthcare systems with multiple facilities are duplicates, and they can cost up to $40 million for any healthcare provider. What’s more, while 72% said they work on mitigating duplicate records on a weekly basis, the researchers noted that there is a general lack of resources available to adequately correct duplicates.
Here you can find five simple, yet efficient ways to eliminate duplicates. All of them are associated with electronic records, so these ways can be related to particular software features that advanced healthcare solutions can offer.
Disallowed double-entry of the same patient. Some systems do not allow you to enter two patients with the same demographics (first name, last name, and date of birth). This prevents you from creating duplicates.
Automatic retrieving all the patients with similar demographics. When you start entering a new patient, the system automatically shows you the list of patients with the same name or last name or especially date of birth. Say, you have entered a date of birth. Then the system shows you all the patients, whose birthdate is the same. This feature can be implemented as a dropdown menu. It allows you to check all the patients with the same demographic parameters. Such an option helps you find the same patient even if his or her name has changed. Besides, it decreases data entry time.
Informing you about repeated studies. If you are entering an appointment or exam which has been already done for a patient, a smart solution will inform you about it by highlighting the existing procedure or displaying a special icon. This helps you avoid double entry and prevent your business from revenue losses since insurance companies often deny claims for repeated procedures.
User-friendly search filters, which allow you to retrieve any patient and find his or her duplicated records. Even if double-entry is disallowed, one patient can be entered two times because their name has changed after marriage or the previously entered demographics are incorrect.
Merge tool. Having identified several records for the same patient, you need to easily fix this issue. With some systems, you can easily merge several records into one and make the patient history consequent and complete.
These basic tools can be combined into a single system to guarantee maximum transparency of your record management. It can be either a PACS or EHR system. Anyway, they will help you minimize duplicated records and decrease revenue losses.
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